The Team  

Janice Pounds, Music Education Commissioner


Janice is responsible for ensuring that the Hub commissions high quality service providers to deliver Whole Class Tuition as well as any additional projects that are needed by our schools. She ensures that providers have robust quality assurance to maintain an outstanding level of service and provide excellent value for money. The strategic direction of the Hub is driven by her continuous contact with schools and partners, through various meetings and networks, to establish appetite and need within the local area. This allows the Hub to respond rapidly to new and developing areas of Music Education. Janice is a member of the Merseyside Music Education Hub Alliance which works to develop projects within the wider region to benefit children from all areas. Janice works closely with various funding providers to ensure that the Hub continues to grow, expand and respond to the needs of our stakeholders in an increasingly competitive environment. She also supports wider curriculum needs through developing and supporting both cross-arts projects and international work.

Janet Whittingham, Deputy Music Education Commissioner


Janet is responsible for the delivery of the core and extension roles with specific responsibility for the vocal strategy. She is a Music AST and has worked in education for over 30 years, the majority of which has been in the secondary sector. From 2007 – 2013 she was the Advisory Music Teacher for Halton, working with children and teachers across KS1 – KS5 before moving to Palace Fields Primary School as Performing Arts Manager. Having previously worked with Accent MEH, supporting their vocal work through large scale performances, Janet has been commissioned from Palace Fields to join the team whilst retaining her teaching commitments at the school.

Chris Bastock, Progression and Ensemble Manager


Chris is responsible for maximising progression and ensemble opportunities for the children within the Warrington and Halton schools.


Chris has developed partnership with Fodens Band to develop the Fodens Junior Band and provide performance opportunities for the Schools.

Sue Hague and Abby Boak, Administrator & Events Co-Ordinators


Sue and Abby are responsible for the day-to-day running of the hub office, providing support to the Accent team as well as to all schools across the Hub. They help with the planning and organising of all Hub related events, and make sure pupils have access to instruments. They work closely with schools, Hub partners and other stakeholders, providing a friendly and efficient service to ensure that pupils are practically supported in their musical development.

Mel Birkett, Gospel Tutor


Mel has managed the Gospel Project in Warrington Schools since 2008 and the Feast of Choirs end-of-year concert is one of the highlights of the ‘Accent’ events calendar. The project develops both vocal skills and pupil confidence through performance, culminating in a massed choir event where professional gospel choirs and bands are also performing. Mel has been responsible for rolling out Gospel CPD to all schools involved in the project to help with staff development. She is constantly developing her own skills through singing with the Love and Joy Gospel Choir, and by attending training.

John Oates, Leading Practitioner in Primary Music


John Oates is an Advanced Skills Teacher for Primary Music and has provided outreach support to schools within Warrington and Halton since 2002. John has provided ITT training for students at Liverpool John Moores and his Assessment in Music resources feature on the Music Mark website. Within Accent Music Education Hub John's core role is primary music CPD. This takes many forms including; whole staff training within school, specific CPD events within Halton and Warrington, individual coordinator support and resource production. John is based full time at Westbrook Old Hall Primary and is a passionate writer of songs for children


Pyramid Arts Centre

Palmyra Square South



Tel: 01925 442097

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